Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What’s In Your Cabinet?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend, and present, at the 2018 Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology.

While I enjoyed presenting, my key takeaway from the day came at the very beginning, as I listened to John L. Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, give the Plenary Presentation, discussing how Ohio became the very first “Technology First” state in the nation.

I’ve already discussed how, while I’m delighted that Ohio has made this step, that I’m extremely disappointed it wasn’t Colorado leading this charge.

But Martin’s speech brought some more clarity to the issue of why Ohio was the first state to officially recognize that the time to wonder about the benefits of incorporating technology into the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is long past, and that the time to act is now.

Just look at Martin’s title: he is a cabinet level official in Ohio’s state government.

Quick quiz: do you know who the state director of the Colorado Department of Developmental Disabilities is? 

It’s a trick question. There is no state level department for developmental disabilities in Colorado. There’s not even an official office for developmental disabilities in our state. Nor is there even a division for developmental disabilities within an office of a department.

I applaud Ohio’s recognition of the importance of I/DD services. Their attention to working to create opportunities for our fellow citizens with disabilities is one to be admired.

And I share the unknown status, administratively speaking, of services for people with I/DD in our state a little less than a month before an upcoming election intentionally.

I encourage individuals in services, families, and others concerned about the future of services in Colorado to reach out to candidates and ask them about the future status of services for people with I/DD. Perhaps share that some states elevate the status services for people with I/DD to the Governor’s Cabinet to ensure people are given every opportunity to live a fulfilling life of possibilities.

Then again, what do I know?

1 comment:

  1. What's the "empty seat" in the upper bureaucratic echelons of Colorado?